It is a conundrum. No one reads this site, so I don’t write. I don’t write, so no one reads this site.
Today, however, my life has made a huge shift and I want to think about it. Since I think better in writing, I’m going to do that here. It may be more than you ever wanted to know about finances and my life. That’s okay. You don’t have to read it.
I was poor when I was little. Poor. Like, not enough food to eat. This had improved dramatically by the time I was in sixth grade and I remember freaking out over some of the cafeteria lunch food and not eating it. My family was doing well when I was in middle school, mostly by not being consumers, and that continued through my high school years. My parents retired in the upper class.
My husband has always been middle class. His parents were lower middle class when he was born and middle middle class when he was growing up. I am not sure they qualify as upper middle class now; they are retired and on a pension. But whatever their class they are doing well.
I don’t know that it has anything to do with the situation as it exists, but it’s background.
I went back to work part time last year. The little bit of money I made kept us from going in the hole. This school year we decided we wanted to get out of debt. We knew it was going to take us a while. We created a budget. We looked at our actual spending and went with it. And we managed to make a significant dent in our debt.
We paid off my husband’s car. It was the less expensive of the two, but we did it. We paid off some other things, though I don’t remember what, and paid down even more. We have paid down our debts an entire year’s gross salary for me when I was working full time in this last twelve months.
We were given a gift (sometimes it is more blessed to receive) and we no longer owe any credit card debt. This year we have retired almost two-thirds of our debt. We still have a way to go, but we still have a few more months till the school year is over (May). By that time, we plan to have my car paid off as well.
That will leave us our mortgage and one payment– a school loan consolidation where the minimum payment only pays the interest for the loan. We’ve been paying on it for over seven years and have not even paid off $500 of the loan itself. We could easily keep paying it forever. But we’re not going to. In June we are going to start paying at least two extra payments a month. The more we can do, the faster it will go away.
I am hoping that by my birthday next year–a year from tomorrow– the only debt we will have will be our mortgage. Hopefully we’ll be able to start building our future at that point rather than bailing out our past.
We paid off my car in July, not by May.
But we have no more debt except our mortgage and an agreement to put money in a savings account. It is not even my birthday yet. So in less than one year we’ve come a LONG way.